I’m a big fan of the Lime, or Linden Tree.
An excellent carving wood it was favoured by the 18th Century carver Grinling Gibbon who found its ease of working, the ability to take fine detail and almost absent grain a real advantage when working on the carvings for Hampton Court Palace, Blenheim Palace and St Paul’s Cathedral.
It yields an excellent cordage from the bark if left to ret (rot) to release the fibres and makes very good hearthboards for bow-drill fire by fiction.
Morris dancing sticks are made from it and due to its resonant qualities (it is known as basswood) is used for instrument making.
The sap is edible, as is the young mucilaginous leaves. The honey produced from the Lime Tree is one of the most highly prized in the world. The blossom can also be used to make tea which was used during the war as a mild sedative. Even the small round fruits are just about edible and have a cocoa-like taste.
Linden flowers are used in herbalism for colds, coughs, fevers, infections, inflammation, high blood pressure, headache and stomach ache and also as a calmative and sedative. New evidence shows that the flowers may be hepatoprotective. The list of what it can do medicinally goes on and on.
If all this was not enough it also makes an excellent charcoal.
The pictures here show Linden blossom being used as a tea. The flowers are picked, dried and then made into a tea. Just one of many word of cautions regarding medicinal plants: the riper the flower the more narcotic the effect of the sedation – so they should only really be used when freshly opened – and for plant safety you must really refer to my plant safety article here.